Questions for Parents and Educators- How may we serve one another in this time of Educational Reform?

Questions for Parents and Educators- How may we serve one another in this time of Educational Reform?   


Dialoguing with my friend and colleague, Annie Burnside, a few minutes ago, we discovered today that each of us thought we were interviewing the other on radio. After complete amazement and lots of laughs, we decided that we would each blog a perspective from a parent point of view and educator point of view that would integrate a compassionate presence in the classroom for all students. While preparing for this interview, I thought of “how” we have become fixers and solution finders at home and at school! We do this from a place of “desiring the best for one another” but the (outside-in approach) possibly leaves us longing, reassessing and feeling a void within days weeks or even hours. Instead of a prescription for educational reform, do we need an inscription, a way to integrate and provide equity for students, parents and educators that is ongoing, meets challenges with questions and seizes the opportunity to take risks, communicate deeply and even uncomfortably? BUT respectful of the experiences, cultures and belief systems of every member of the educational triangle, what does  this look like from an educator  perspective?


With the use of technology, could we record, write, text, e-mail one fabulous moment in the classroom to share with the parents at least once a month if not more often?


Could we invite parents to contribute their expertise in any way throughout the year as a guest presenter, no matter the job or profession or lack thereof?


Could we honor a parent of the month for varying contributions that the class and parents decide and agree upon every few months?


Could we mentor a parent in need, each semester of the school year through various forms of communication that are not necessarily face to face?


For those parents who work two and three jobs, who are never able to get to the school, could we find a time to talk about all that is going well and right with their child even when grades are low, morale is dipping, and dispositions sour?


Can we involve our parents in the assessment process of “how” they view their child’s strengths, passions, and learning profiles? Can we ask, What do you need? How can I help? What will work or make this better?


Can we integrate a mentoring “time” or “program” into our classrooms or schools where parents mentor other students whether in person or through technology?


Can we hold special interest/topic meetings for parents who are challenged with various emotional, social or physical health issues?


Emotional well-being of a system, individual, and culture depends and rests on the energy and intention of all parties. In this time, our neurobiology and genetic heritage are not in alignment with our environment. As persons become more prosperous or are called to multi-career, task, and be in constant movement answering to this highly evolved technical era, we need to look at the depression and stress levels of our students and family systems.


In 2030, the World Health Organization predicts that more people will be affected by depression than any other health condition. From 1996-2005, anti-depressants in this country have doubled. Twenty-seven million people are taking these prescriptions and one out of ten individuals are experiencing some form of depression and anxiety. If the purpose of education is to live  outside the walls of schools,  then we must prepare our future world citizens and their families in ways that affirm, nurture, and serve; collaborating alongside one another with each presented opportunity- no matter how negative or challenging this is seen from the outside in!



2 Responses to “Questions for Parents and Educators- How may we serve one another in this time of Educational Reform?

  • Annie, I love doing this and just now saw your comment…thank you!!

  • Lori, these ideas are very practical and worthwhile. Thank you for your unbelievable efforts to continue this conversation and to take action. I am looking forward to our on-air conversation very much. BRAVO!

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